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Archive for October 2016

My Wicked Birthday Date

Posted on October 31, 2016 by under Events.    

Brian and I had a nice dinner at P.F. Chang’s a week ahead of my birthday because we wanted to have an intimate celebration. We’re not really romantic types but, every now and then, we like to have a nice dinner together just by ourselves.

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Here are some pictures from dinner.

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We started with crab wontons because I really like them there. Unlike at other Asian restaurants, their filling is more crab than filler. It’s delicious!

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My strawberry ginger margarita was super delicious also.

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As for dinner, Brian got his usual Chang’s spicy chicken.

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I also got my usual: Mongolian beef with eggplant instead of green onions.

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Neither of us are really that adventurous when it comes to food. We find something we like and we order it every time. LOL.

After dinner, it was time to head downtown to see Wicked but first — let me take a selfie!

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I’m so lucky to have a husband who enjoys music theater just as much as I do.

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We’ve learned from watching so many shows that, while it’s great to be up close, you don’t want to be too close to the front. We had the perfect seats!

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We were right under the animatronic dragon.

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I didn’t have a tall, big haired person in front of me this time either to obstruct my view so I was fully able to enjoy the show.

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Just had to take one pre-show selfie with my wonderful husband because no more pictures allowed once the show starts.

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Of course, we had to take an intermission selfie as well. LOL.

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And a second one because we didn’t get the dragon in the previous photo.

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The show was amazing. I loved the sets and the costumes and the props. The national tour cast was fabulous. Everyone was so talented and thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the amazing singing and dancing.

I love Glinda the best. She was hilarious.

We missed the show when it came to town seven years ago so I’m super grateful that we had the opportunity to watch it this go around. I hear that it just gets better and better every year.

I really wanted to get season tickets because all of the other shows look fabulous but I’m glad we didn’t because I’m not in town during the week. Perhaps my schedule will soon go back to normal and I can spend more time home. We’ll see.

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My Favorite Time of the Year

Posted on October 30, 2016 by under Events, Life.    

I love this time of year. Not just because of the perfect Fall weather and not just for Halloween and not just for my birthday. As you all know, I love being busy and doing stuff. Once October rolls around, every weekend brings with it some cool event or activity and we’re in constant go-go-go mode.

I don’t love it as much when we get double, triple, and quadruple booked (yes, it has happened) but I do love it when we are able to squeeze it all in to the schedule and I’m able to do everything.

We kicked October off with a bang this year by attending the Wichita State Alumni Association‘s Rockin’ the Roundhouse event. That was the day before I left for EMACS in Orlando and barely got out of there before Hurricane Matthew struck.

My flight was canceled so I rerouted through Tampa. Instead of getting home at noon as planned, I didn’t get home until midnight. Hence, I missed the blacklight Zumba fundraising event at Wheels Studio that I said I would help with. I also had to get a sub for my regular Saturday morning Zumba class because I needed the day to recover from my exciting trip and also I needed to pack for Kansas City that coming week. And then, I also had a sub for my regular Sunday afternoon Zumba class because I committed to my friend Stephanie that I would help her with the zumbathon for the Mulvane flooding victims.

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These were all the Zumba instructors who helped with that effort. From left: Amy, Paula, Andrea, Ching, Pam, Stephanie, and Pat.

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Stephanie organized a fantastic event and we all had a blast helping.

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Here are just a few photos from the event.

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We were super exhausted from 90 minutes of dancing (we did stop a few times to draw for prizes) but it was all worth it in the end. I’m so grateful that Stephanie asked me to participate and it worked out that I could.

The weekend after was Museum of the Undead (which was super fun and I totally plan on doing that again next year) and then game night at our house when we also celebrated Christina’s birthday.

One of the highlights of the evening was reconnecting Brian with a couple of his high school classmates. These are Brian’s high school classmates Donald and Devi in the picture with him below.

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Initially, we were only expecting a handful of people but then we ended up with more people than we can squeeze into a game of Cards Against Humanity so we ended up with two separate groups of Cards Against Humanity games and then a few of us on the side playing Exploding Kittens. I played Exploding Kittens with Missy because she has sworn off Cards Against Humanity completely.

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This is a picture of me and Missy with our ears to the bluetooth stereo because Brian refused to let us turn the volume up. He said it was because then we wouldn’t be able to have conversation but deep down I think it’s because he hates Zumba music.

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The next day we joined the gang at Carlos O’Kelly’s (Missy’s favorite Mexican restaurant) for a late lunch/early supper in celebration of Glynda’s birthday.

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This young lady in the sombrero. We got to know Glynda better over the last few years when she started attending my old Saturday morning Zumba class at East YMCA and then we got to hang out with her in Fort Lauderdale and throughout the first ever Zumba cruise as well.

Glynda is so fun to be around because she’s so positive and vibrant and energetic. She enjoys life to the fullest and is really a model for her age group. I want to be just like her at that age.

Birthdays (not just mine) are one of the many reasons I love this time of year. I know so many people with October birthdays that it’s a nonstop party all month long! Speaking of my birthday, Brian and I had an intimate celebration last weekend by having a nice dinner at P.F. Chang’s followed by Wicked.

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We had amazing seats but more on that later.

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This weekend we celebrated with friends by hiring Spot’s Party Bus to drive us around for an epic evening of drinking and Pok√©mon hunting. Wicked was my birthday present and the party bus was my present for my friends.

As we get busy with various events, the blog gets so far behind. I need to blog about a few more things. Anyway, I just wanted to take this moment to express how grateful I am for a fantastic month and for being another year older.

It’s great to be alive!

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Museum of the Undead

Posted on October 28, 2016 by under Events.    

Brian and I got to attend Museum of the Undead 4 at Exploration Place a couple of weeks ago. I tried to get rid of my tickets because it was a night that I had scheduled with Nickira. The bad news was that no one wanted my event tickets. The good news – Nickira and I finished our “hang out” time by 7:30 PM, which allowed enough time for me and Brian to attend Museum of the Undead.

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The backstory they developed for this year’s event was actually really cool. I also like that the ZMB1 virus spells Zumba without the vowels.

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We watched a short film in the Dome Theater, which explained everything. We also got the game sheet for us to put stickers on to complete the genome. Once the sheet was complete, you bring it to the gift shop for a special prize.

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You earned stickers by completing various activities such as this one.

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Who doesn’t enjoy a fun round of Twister?

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Then there was Pathogen Pong…

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Here’s Brian getting his participation sticker…

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Then there was this thing with the buckets, which Brian and I nailed.

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There were creepy zombies walking around everywhere.

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None of them broke character; not even for a second.

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This is Brian playing Human Cell Mini Golf…

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This is the Mutangen Jenga. They had several sets.

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Ran into Jocelyn!

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They also had caged zombies in addition to the free-roaming ones.

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Here’s a picture of my completed game sheet.

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My gift was a little shotglass, which I do not have a picture of unfortunately.

I feel so grateful that we were able to attend this event because it was such a blast. Thanks, KMUW! Besides running into Jocelyn, I also ran into one of my coworkers. I’m totally making a mental note to attend this event again next year!

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Getting Out of Orlando

Posted on October 25, 2016 by under Travel.    

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I was really hoping that I would be able to fly out of Orlando in time. No such luck. I’m glad that my friend Tammie talked me into changing my flights so that I would be flying out Tampa instead. Had I not taken her advice, I probably would have gotten stranded in Orlando after Southwest canceled my flight.

Tammie flew with Delta so she had a noon flight out of Tampa. I ended up tagging along with her, which I am super grateful for because I’m not sure how I would have managed the two hour drive to Tampa by myself.

We were initially concerned about the weather on Friday so we talked about spending the night in Tampa. There’s a Marriott attached to the airport, which would have been really convenient. However, we had to nix that idea after we couldn’t find any available rooms. Not just at the Tampa Airport Marriott but throughout the area. Brian tried to find a hotel for us. The closest hotel that had availability was 51 miles from the airport.

He was like, “I’m on the phone with the hotel. You need to tell me now if you want me to reserve these rooms for you guys.”

“Just hang up,” I told him. “I need to talk to Tammie first because that hotel is too far from the airport.”

After I told Tammie she was like, “My mom lives 50 miles from the Tampa airport! We will just stay with her.” Tammie’s mom and stepdad live in Winter Haven, which is between Orlando and Tampa.

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Tammie’s mom and stepdad were kind enough to put me up for the night. I event got my own cozy room (above photo), which Brian was curious about. He wondered if Tammie and I were bunking together because we always chat on video before bed each night. It would be weird to do that with someone in the room with you so he was super relieved that I had my own room for the night.

Interestingly, since we used Tammie’s mom’s SUV to drive from Orlando to Tampa, her stepdad was going to fill up the tank for the drive the next morning. Well, after driving to half a dozen gas stations that were all completely out of gas, he just gave up. It was wild. I’d never been in this kind of situation before.

Lucky for us, Tammie’s stepdad’s truck had a full tank of gas and both of us just had carry-on sized luggage that could easily fit in the covered truck bed so they were able to drive me and Tammie to the Tampa airport in the truck the next day. We left first thing in the morning on Friday.

Tammie was worried about her extremely short layover in Atlanta but we got to the airport early enough that she was able to get on the earlier Delta flight. She left Tampa around 10 AM instead of noon. As for me, I was flying with Southwest and my flight wasn’t until the evening. I had a lot of time to kill at the airport.

I was going to use the time to see my friend Dawn who now lives in the Tampa area but they were expecting some bad weather (just tropical storms, not hurricane weather like in the Atlantic coast). The weather actually wasn’t too bad but it scared both of us enough not to chance it and we canceled our plans ahead of time.

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Since I had so much time to kill, I decided to eat some breakfast. The Qdoba inside the Tampa airport serves the most delicious breakfast burritos. That was a plus.

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I found a good spot (conveniently located next to a power outlet) at the Tampa Airport Marriott to setup a mobile office and used the opportunity to catch up on email. It worked out great.

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I grew tired of sitting around after a while and so I decided to walk around. The Tampa Airport Marriott is actually pretty neat. They have a nice outdoor area complete with a ping pong table. It’s such a shame that it was wet outside and I had no one to play with. Ping pong would have been a great way to kill some time.

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There’s a cute little gazebo in the outdoor terrace/patio.

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The outdoor area is actually quite spacious and nice.

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There’s even a pool and a hot tub.

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They also have a branded bag-toss/cornhole game. I wish the weather would have been better and I had someone to play with.

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Thankfully, I found a nice, comfy reading couch.

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There were several of these sitting areas throughout the hotel.

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I nabbed one for myself and decided to do some reading. Many times I’ll bring a book with me for inflight reading but I end up visiting with my seatmates that entire flight and so I don’t actually end up getting much reading done, if at all. It worked out well because I was able to finish my book.

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I also got to video chat with Brian on his way home from work.

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The rest of the trip home was pretty uneventful, which was fine by me. I really couldn’t handle any more excitement.

My flight from Tampa to St. Louis had a late departure but I wasn’t too concerned because I had a long layover in St. Louis. The flight from St. Louis left on time and arrived in Wichita a couple of minutes early. It was still really late, though. And, since we live all the way on the East side of town, it was almost midnight by the time we got home.

I was so tired that I actually subbed out my Zumba class the next morning so I could do laundry and catch up on rest before driving to Kansas City on Monday. All in all, it was quite an exciting week.

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Fun Times at EMACS

Posted on October 25, 2016 by under Travel.    

Fwd: Your GIF from EMACS

Here are a few fun pics from the EMACS conference a few weeks ago.

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West sponsored a fun networking event at Howl at the Moon and it was kind of rainy that day so they bussed us over there from our hotel.

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The EMACS group took over the entire place.

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Sherii’s birthday was coming up in a couple of days so they greeted her on the board. That was pretty cool!

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Here’s a picture of Alicia and Alex.

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And Faith and Sherii.

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That was a fun event. Thanks to West for sponsoring the outing and for Chartwell for putting together a fun customer experience conference.

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